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Get Your Gains Back!

Posted by Scott_Herman - September 23rd, 2017

I want to share with you a technique that I like to use to get back into the right mind-set if I’m taking some time off from the gym, and this can work for anybody really. Maybe you’re someone who went on vacation for a few weeks and now you’re coming back and trying to hit it hard again. Maybe you had to take some time off because of work or family, maybe you were injured, or maybe it’s been a few years or you’ve never been in a gym before and you want to start for the first time, but don’t have the motivation to get there yet.

Staying Motivated In The Gym

One of the biggest things that’s going to happen to you whether you’ve never worked out before or you’re coming back after time off is getting your mind right. Getting your mentality back to that spot you were when you were hitting those workouts as hard as you possibly could. I feel like if you start going to the gym and doing routines you were doing right before you left, you’re going to basically come back and feel down that you’re not able to complete the same amount of sets and reps with the same amount of weight. Or maybe the workout will take twice as long, or you won’t even be able to finish the workout.

One of the biggest things that’s going to help you always progress with your training is always being positive. If you’re coming back after some time off, maybe it’s not the best idea to jump back into the intense workouts you were doing before you took that time off. Maybe it’s better to try something different, and get your body back where it used to be. It’s also helpful to get your brain set up to hit some goals that are very achievable that help motivate you to push yourself harder and harder.

I’ve developed a really fun training technique that I like to use when I go on vacation, so that when I come home I can do a different kind of workout, and still get that same feeling of accomplishment you get when you absolutely crush something. For example, let’s say you go into the gym and do a back and biceps workout with set reps, sets and exercises for both muscle groups and you know what weight you can do for the entire workout. You might not think it at the time, but when you go to the gym and do these exercises and maybe can’t complete all the reps or handle all the weight, mentally/sub-consciously it’s kind of demotivating. So if you can find something else to do, just to get your rhythm back and get yourself back in the game, I think that’s a really good idea so that you don’t get discouraged.

10 Rounds Of Fun

This is something I developed, and I like to call it 10 rounds of fun, because to me, that’s what it is. What I like to do, depending on what I am training for the day, is I do 10 rounds of 10 reps per exercise, and I separate it into two different blocks. For rounds 1-5, I pick 3 exercises, and then for rounds 6-10 I pick another 3 exercises. Let’s take a look at how it might look if you were to train back and biceps, along with a little bit of calves and abs as well.

Rounds 1-5

Exercise #1: Barbell Bent-Over Row (Underhand Grip) – 10 Reps

Exercise #2: Pull-Up – 10 Reps

Exercise #3: Calf Raises – 20 Reps

There are no rest periods between any of these exercises, you’re doing them one after another, non-stop. This is the main difference between sets and rounds – when you’re doing sets, you’re taking breaks between sets, when you’re doing rounds, you’re taking breaks (around 60-90 seconds) after completing ALL exercises.

You’re hitting these as hard as you absolutely can, maybe using a bit of my cheat & recover method, a bit of momentum, but the whole point here is to overload your muscles and hit them as hard as you can on every exercise. Once you’ve completed one round, you’ll go over to your board or phone or wherever you have your round numbers written down, and you’ll tick off the round you just completed. Every time you get to put a check mark next to one of your rounds, that’s like a goal accomplished. That’s going to mentally tell you that you achieved what you were trying to achieve, and by creating mini-goals like this, it’s going to help you achieve your overall goal of completing all 10 rounds. As you get closer and closer to round 5 with this trio of exercises, that’s going to motivate you to push yourself even harder in each set leading up to it.

One quick note – how you put these exercises together is completely up to you. It may not be easy for you to do a bunch of different exercises in your gym, so it pays to pick exercises you can do in the same area of your gym. I suggest picking at least a couple of compound movements too. The exercises should be as intense as possible, because you’re only doing a few of them.

Rounds 6-10

Exercise #1: T-Bar Row – 10 Reps

Exercise #2: Mercy 30s – 10 Reps Wide-Grip, 10 Reps Close-Grip, 10 Reps Shoulder-Width

Exercise #3: Wood Chopper – 20 Reps LEFT, 20 Reps RIGHT

Once again, once you’ve finished all 3 exercises, you’ll mark off round 6 and work your way down to round 10, by which time you will have completed your entire goal for the day. It is a lot of volume, and it’s quite intense, but that’s how you get results!


At the end of the day, it’s not rocket science. You just need to find ways to get yourself motivated to go to the gym and exercise. I used to be the kind of guy who would see an exercise I thought was stupid, and then say you shouldn’t do it. But someone once told me, would you rather have someone sitting on a couch doing nothing, or doing a circuit you think is dumb because the exercises don’t quite make sense? When you think about it that way, obviously it would be better to have the person off the couch doing something I might not agree with, rather than sitting on the couch all day.

Now I’m not saying I don’t agree with my own routine here, I’m just trying to get the message across that you don’t always have to necessarily do the same thing that you always used to do in the gym, or the same thing everyone else is doing, especially if you’ve never been to the gym before. You want to find workouts you can complete, and ones that are going to make you push yourself as hard as you can, so you get that sense of completion, to make you want to push yourself even further!

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